A simple version of pancakes which is completely sugar free with no added sugar. Lightly flavoured with vanilla essence and cinnamon, these pancakes taste as lovely as the traditional ones. Great for low sugar breakfast or afternoon snack.
I’ve seen a lot of sugar free pancake recipes, where the sugar is replaced by sugar substitutes, which to me, defeats the object of making something sugar-free.
If you replace a traditional sugar with honey, it’s still sugar, it does pretty much the same thing to our body as normal sugar and man-made substitutes are even worse. And don’t get me started on diabetic sugar substitutes!
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Why make this recipe?
- Truly sugar free pancake recipe
- Full of flavour
- Perfect to eat on it’s own (as a handy lunch box snack)
- Great pancake base recipe that you can adjust to your taste
So, for everyone who wanted truly sugar free pancakes, that don’t taste like cardboard, here is my own version of this delicious breakfast treat!
If you’ve tried my other sugar free blueberry pancakes recipe, I promise, you’ll love this one too.
MY OTHER FAVOURITE PANCAKE RECIPES
What makes this recipe work
- Using a good quality vanilla essence, extract or a paste makes a real difference to the taste
- Adding a pinch of salt helps to sharpen the flavours and won’t make your pancakes taste bland
Any specialist equipment needed?
You don’t need specialist equipment to fry your pancakes, any large frying pan or a flat griddle will be fine to use.
Saying that, I use a special pancake frying pan with four deep cavities.
This prevents the pancake batter from spreading out and helps the pancakes to rise more than if they were fried on a regular flat frying pan.
I also find that if I fill the frying pan cavities with equal amount of pancake batter I know exactly how many calories I eat with each pancake, which makes a daily calories intake easy to calculate.
Notes on Ingredients & Possible substitutions
If you want to make this pancake’s mix even more healthier, swap half of the plain flour with buckwheat or any wholemeal flour to add fibre and more protein.
You are welcome to use any milk you like. If you use whole milk you will find that the pancake mix will taste much sweater than if you use skimmed milk.
Swapping for dairy free milk is easy. Just use coconut, soya, dairy-free, rice or oatmeal milk. Depending on what milk you use, you might notice that the flavour changes slightly. The most noticeable change in taste is probably with coconut milk.
Egg will make your pancakes light and fluffy and will also add extra protein, good fat and a bit of flavour.
If you are making vegan sugar free pancakes you can either leave the egg out completely or swap it with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or 1/2 banana (be mindful of the extra sugar).
You do need some sort of raising agent to lift your pancake batter as it’s being cooked, but if you don’t have baking powder you can also use baking soda (the same amount is sufficient).
If I use self-raising flour (flour mix with raising agent) I don’t use extra baking powder or baking soda in the recipe.
I use a really good quality vanilla extract, because I think it makes a big difference to the flavour of the pancakes. This is especially as I’m not using any kind of sugar in this recipe.
You can omit the vanilla extract and cinnamon if you like, but both add a touch of sweetness and flavour without adding actual sugar. You are welcome to use other sweet spices like my pumpkin pie homemade spice mix recipe, depending on the season and your mood.
A tiny pinch of salt is essential to bring all the flavours together
If you are counting calories, you can swap the butter for vegetable oil or leave it out altogether.
Ingredients that are naturally sweet (and you can add to your pancake mix)
- Dark Chocolate
- Apple Pie Spice Mix
- Vanilla Extract
- Gingerbread Spice Mix
- Mixed Spice Mix
If you really want to add sugar to this pancake mix, why not use toppings with natural sugars, like bananas, strawberries or blueberries.
You can also add natural sugar, such as mashed bananas directly into the pancake batter. Just make sure that you leave out some of the milk as if you make the pancakes too thin, they might stick to the pancake pan.
How to make my sugar free pancake recipe
Mix all dry ingredients together first (flour, baking powder, generous pinch of cinnamon, tiny pinch of salt).
Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl or a jug (milk, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter).
Pour the wet mixture into the flour mix and mix well until all combined.
On a low to medium heat (griddle or a frying pan) pour small amounts of the pancake mix to create your pancakes. Once you see bubbles on one side, flip over and cook for another minute or so, until golden brown.
How to serve sugar free pancakes
Serve the sugar free pancakes hot with toppings of your choice (e.g. fresh fruit), but be mindfull of choosing toppings that are low in sugar (if you want to keep the sugar intake low).
I also leave them to cool down and then use them as a low sugar snack on my walking trips, instead of biscuits or cookies.
Low sugar pancake toppings suggestions
- Low fat yoghurt or creme fresh
MORE PANCAKE RECIPES
- Light & Fluffy Pancakes made with yeast (GF) >>
- Buckweed & Banana Pancakes (GF) >>
- Almond & Flax Pancakes (Low Carb) >>
Allergies & dietary requirements
This recipe contains gluten, dairy, but it’s nut free. It doesn’t contain any additional sugar.
You can easily adjust this pancake recipe and make it with non-dairy milk, gluten-free flour to suit your diet.
How else you can make my sugar free pancakes recipe?
Dairy-free & sugar free pancakes
To make these pancakes dairy free, swap the milk for a plant based milk and use oil instead of the butter (or plant based butter if you have one).
Vegan sugar free pancakes
To make this recipe suitable for vegan diets, you can leave out the egg or add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the mix. You can also add 1/2 banana instead of the oil, but you’d be adding sugar (in the banana) to the mix.
Gluten-free & sugar free pancakes
You can also adapt my recipe to be gluten free.
My experience is that you’ll need a little less gluten free flour – add about 2/3 of the quantity in the recipe and only add more if you don’t achieve a good consistency.
You will also need to add in about 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to make sure that your flour sticks together and your pancakes won’t fall apart.
This recipe will give you 10 -12 medium sized pancakes (4 to the pan), but it depends on how you make them. It’s usually enough portion for 2 people, but again this depends on your appetite.
Nutritional information is calculated per pancake. This recipe makes about 10 pancakes and each pancake has 68 calories.
The whole recipe batch size has 688 calories and normally serves 2 people. No matter how big your pancakes are going to be, if you split them between 2 people, you are eating approximately 344 callories each (this is without any additional toppings).
If you want to lower the calories in this sugar free pancake recipe, take out the egg and butter, which has the most amount. Replace them with 2-3 tablespoons extra of milk to make the same amount of thick pancake batter.
Can I scale up this recipe?
This sugar free pancakes recipe can be easily doubled or tripled in quantity to make more pancakes for a large family or to make eat some pancakes now and freeze some for later.
Simply double or triple all the ingredients and make as many pancakes as you like.
How to store your sugar free pancakes
Pancakes are best eaten fresh (and warm from the frying pan!), but you can also eat them cold. They are best eaten on the same day.
If you have any leftovers, you can always keep them in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze sugar free pancakes?
If you know you won’t be able to finish the pancakes within 3 days, I’d recommend that you freeze them. Freeze the pancakes on the same day and then use them within 3 months.
Space them out on a greaseproof paper placed on a baking tray that will fit inside your freezer. When they are completely cold, place them in the freezer as they are (uncovered) and leave to freeze.
When they are frozen (after about 1 hour) take them out, cut up the greaseproof paper to smaller pieces and place the pancakes inside a freezer suitable container with the greaseproof paper in between each pancake.
This way, the pancakes are not going to stick together and you can take out just a few at a time to eat whenever you want to.
How to re-heat pancakes
I don’t mind eating my pancakes cold, but it’s equally nice to have them warmed up! Depending on how many pancakes you have, you can easily heat them up in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
If you don’t have a microwave, you can heat them on the hob over a shift made bain marie. Add about an inch (2 cm ) of water to a saucepan and place a bowl over it (either stainless steel or glass).
Place the pancakes inside the bowl (spread them out to warm them up quicker) and let the water to gently simmer for 5 minutes or so. Check when the pancakes are warm enough and serve them straight away.
MORE PANCAKE RECIPES
Can this recipe be made in advance?
I like to serve my sugar free pancakes as fresh as I can, but if needed you can make them up to 12-24 hours in advance.
I’d recommend you warm up the pancakes before serving as otherwise, they might start getting a little hard. Store them in between sheets of greaseproof paper, so that they don’t stick together.
Sugar Free Pancakes (with no sugar substitute)
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon
- tiny pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Mix all dry ingredients together first (flour, baking powder, generous pinch of cinnamon, tiny pinch of salt).
- Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl or a jug (milk, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter).
- Pour the wet mixture into the flour mix and mix well until all combined.
- On a low to medium heat (griddle or a frying pan) pour small amounts of the pancake mix to create your pancakes. Once you see bubbles on one side, flip over and cook for another minute or so, until golden brown.
- Serve hot with toppings of your choice (e.g. fresh fruit).
This blog post was originally written on 29 August 2020 and last updated 18 September 2022